Oregonians change attitudes on Measure 37
Feb 09,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Oregonians would reject Measure 37 if it appeared on the ballot today, according to a recent survey of Oregon voters.

In a statewide survey of 500 Oregonians conducted in late January by Moore Information, 52% of respondents said they would vote against the measure, while only 37% would support it. In addition, 61% of Oregonians want the Oregon Legislature to either fix or repeal Measure 37, while only 31% of voters want the legislature to “keep its hands off” of the measure. Moore Information is an opinion research firm based in Portland.

“Oregonians have become increasingly aware of the damage Measure 37 is inflicting upon our state,” said Bob Stacey, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. “Oregonians expect our elected officials to restore balance and fairness in land use.”

1000 Friends of Oregon, in conjunction with the Sightline Institute, also released a DVD and written report on the impacts of Measure 37.

And Fairness for None: The Impact of Measure 37 on Oregonians and Oregon’s Landscape tells the story of Oregonians whose livelihoods are threatened by the prospect of inappropriate development caused by Measure 37.

In the video, Gorham Blaine, a fourth generation farmer in the Hood River Valley, describes how Measure 37 claims threaten to turn fertile farmland into housing subdivisions. Blaine is surrounded by three Measure 37 claims, totaling about 200 houses.

“If I feel the entire [agricultural] industry is being washed away by housing, and the burdens on me to farm only get greater…then I’m doomed to fail” Blaine said.

The DVD also includes statements from voters who voted for Measure 37, but now regret their choice.

“I did vote for Measure 37 back when it was on the ballot, but like a lot of people, I was not voting for what it seems to have become,” said Scott Lay of Clackamas County. “Back then it was property owners being able to put a family member’s house on their property…it wasn’t going to be you take a nice piece of property and subdivide it into small lots without any regard to what it does to the surrounding environment or the neighbors.”

The Sightline Institute report, Two Years of Measure 37: Oregon’s Property Wrongs documents additional Measure 37 stories and places the problems of Measure 37 in a regional context.

“Voters in Washington, Idaho and California rejected similar ballot measures last November, in large part, because of horror stories from Oregon,” noted Eric de Place, senior researcher with Sightline Institute.

Roughly 7000 Measure 37 claims have been filed around the state. The Legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Land Use Fairness is charged with resolving conflicts raised by Measure 37.

The Moore Information survey interviewed 500 registered voters on January 23 and 24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

Copies of the video are available through the 1000 Friends’ web site. For more information about the Oregonians in the video, contact Eric Stachon at 1000 Friends of Oregon, 503-497-1000. For information about the Sightline report, contact Eric de Place at 206-447-1880, ext. 105. The report is available on their web site.